I think we’ve all asked the question a time or two. And when evil or illness or heartache touches us or someone we love, the question rages louder. Some questions, I believe, will never be fully answered–fully understood–this side of heaven. But in the meantime, God allows us to ponder immensely confusing questions, and I believe, He is blessed most when we ask not one another but instead, turn to Him. For whoever turns to Him, He will never turn away. Today, fellow ACFW member Linda Samaritoni shares her thoughts on the age old question–How can an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving God allow evil?
No Stepford Wives for God by Linda Samaritoni
If God loves everyone as Christians are so fond of telling the world, then why does He allow evil? Why doesn’t He just make people love Him, and all would be right in our universe? These questions keep cropping up while I am involved with my current work-in-progress novel. I’ve heard several attempted answers, and while I may agree with some of them, the responses don’t satisfy my heart.
There is the “Just Trust and Obey” answer. Certainly, as a Christian, I need to trust and obey Jesus in everything, but those actions on my part don’t solve the riddle of an all-powerful God putting up with evil, even if I know it’s temporary.
Then there’s the “Tapestry” answer. I like that one better. Because God knows everything, He can see beyond my immediate pain in the midst of evil. He knows how He is going to use the situation for my future good. That’s comforting, but it doesn’t answer the question as to why He allows evil in the first place. But “Tapestry” is a difficult concept for humans to comprehend. When I consider that He knows the endless possibilities for every individual on earth who has ever lived or will ever live, “Tapestry” is mind-boggling. I have to step away; my brain can’t wrap around the concept, and the emotional result is awfully close to a panic attack.
I’ve called the answer with the most potential to assist my finite understanding “No Stepford Wives.” Within a limited analogy, I can relate the earthly to the heavenly and gain some knowledge and wisdom. The term ‘Stepford Wife’ has become synonymous with creating something that “loves” you. Stepford wives never argued with their husbands, never left dishes in the sink, never suffered from headaches at bedtime. They were perfect – but ultimately dissatisfying. Why? Because they never loved their husbands of their own free will. The husband knew that he had manufactured feelings. Would she still love him if he relinquished control?
God doesn’t want to make us love Him either. He could. We could all be living in some version of the Garden of Eden, little robots with no thoughts of our own. Perhaps, we would be happier in our ignorance, but we wouldn’t know the joy of choosing to love others. Nor, I suspect, would God be satisfied with His creation.
I’ve read that God is the most emotional Being that exists. He is more joyful than we can comprehend, and His sorrow goes deeper than any of us could ever bear. He made us to be creatures like Himself in that we are capable of loving, willing to make sacrifices for someone else. And the greatest gift we can offer is to love Him because we want to.
When humans do not love God, they choose to not love God, and evil results. God already knows how He will deal with it. In the meantime, He is willing to create further generations who have the opportunity to choose to love Him, and whenever individuals make God the center of their lives, He sits back and says, “It is good.”
Jeremiah 31:3 – [The Lord says:] “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
Linda Samaritoni lives near Indianapolis. She teaches Spanish in a private elementary school and enjoys writing and music. She has completed two novels, one for children, one women’s contemporary and is currently working on a YA novel. Linda is married and has three sons and two granddaughters, the lights of her life, after Jesus!
Check out Linda’s blog at www.my2ndnature.wordpress.com for more posts comparing the temporal and the spiritual.
I like questions. But more than that, I like answers. Clear, easily contained, easy to explain answers. But unfortunately, my small, often inconsistent and finite mind will never truly grasp the mind and ways of God, at least, not this side of heaven. But that doesn’t keep me from asking, from reading His Word, His purest self-revelation known to man. And when I do that–when I draw near to God with an open, teachable heart, an amazing thing happens. Suddenly, many of my burning questions begin to fade in the indescribable peace of His presence.